By Mike Cannici
Drafting defensive players is being incorporated more and more each year into fantasy football leagues. I think this is the BEST way to play fantasy football. After being involved in one of these leagues last year with a group of friends I became very interested in it. At first I scoffed at the idea, that was mostly because I was asked to participate as a last minute replacement just an hour before hand. Meanwhile, when I asked, nobody had any answers about rules or roster positions until I arrived to the draft. It then got sprung on me that we are drafting defensive players, which I had no info whatsoever on. After the first two weeks of the season, I fell in love with this idea, even though this league also used a Team Defense, which doesn’t mix. It is counterproductive to use both team defense and IDP’s in the same league. For example, let’s say you own Patrick Willis and you’re going against the 49er’s defense. Patrick Willis recovers a fumble returns it for a TD. Say you gain 9pts for that but also the Niner’s D also gets 9pts for the fumble recovery as well as the defensive TD. That just doesn’t make sense and it’s why I am against having both IDP’s and team defense together.
Next you need to determine the scoring for your Individual Defensive Players. My league was set up for 1.5 pts per tackle, 0.5 for assist tackle, 1pt pass defensed, 3pts for INT, Fumble Recovery, and Safeties, and 4 pts for sack. This makes the defensive player equally valuable to offensive players, most weeks. Patrick Willis on average, gets 8 tackles per week, so that alone give you 12 fantasy points, on top of assisted tackles or any turnovers he may accrue. 12 points will likely outscore at least 1/3 of your offensive players on any given week if not more. A big thing to remember, as with offensive players, is to know your scoring rules. You need to know if it’s a tackle heavy league or turnover or sack heavy league. That can make Defensive lineman more valuable than LB or DB’s. If its tackle heavy than you may want to go with mostly LB or Safeties instead. IDP leagues also increase your overall knowledge of the game as well as giving you an interest in the game for both sides of the ball. In a league I run, since it was our first year of using IDP’s, we started with just 3 flex players,which means they can be any position (DL,LB,DB). This is to give everyone an adjustment period and hopefully if it goes well we can add on to that list in the coming years. Here is a quick list of my top 10 rankings at each of the Defensive Positions. If you have any questions or thoughts feel free to email me or leave a comment.
DL LB DB
Jared Allen Patrick Willis Yeremiah Bell
Mario Williams Jon Beason Eric Weddle
Justin Tuck James Laurinaitis Bernard Pollard
Julius Peppers Barrett Ruud OJ Atogwe
Trent Cole Paul Posluszny Tyvon Branch
Robert Mathis David Harris Dashon Goldson
Terrell Suggs Curtis Lofton Antoine Bethea
Chris Long Karlos Dansby Louis Delmas
Stylez White DeMeco Ryans Brian Dawkins
Will Smith Lance Briggs LaRon Landry